Strong Intention – Razorblade Express (02 July 2012, Patac Records)
Maybe it’s because of when I was born (after Star Wars but before The Empire Strikes Back) — I just barely missed out on the original genesis of both the punk and heavy metal movements; I was too young to get much exposure to either genre until the late 80s, and when I did start listening to some of the stuff in my pre-teen years and beyond, I didn’t really have any sense of the history behind either scene or the animosity that existed between them…
I don’t know what the explanation is, exactly, but I do know I’ve always had one foot on each side of the line, not really caring about definitions or labels or exactly what separates “punk” from “metal” — and in fact, I tend to gravitate towards stuff that has a little of both flavors (and attitudes) mixed in. I’ve never understood the mindset of people who seem to think they have to pick a side, and refuse to acknowledge anything that the other team has done. To me, if it sounds good, it sounds good — it doesn’t matter what you call it.
That’s why I don’t really get the attitude of the folks who maintain the Encyclopædia Metallum, who (from what I’ve heard) are very particular about genre classifications, and extremely selective about which bands they approve for inclusion in their archives. Almost entirely absent from that compendium of musical knowledge: anyone who would be considered more closely associated with the realms of hardcore or punk (including grindcore or crust) than what they consider “real” metal. Where exactly the line is drawn, though, isn’t always completely clear. For example, it seems Napalm Death qualified as exceptions to the rule, as did Motörhead, yet the Misfits seem to have been overlooked — despite being no less influential in the metal world than either of the others.
Anyway, I could go on rambling about this for the rest of the day (and I’d be glad to hear YOUR thoughts on the subject — just visit the comments section below, or hit the VoS Facebook page, whatever works for you), but I really came here just to share some new music with you. That would be the new EP by Strong Intention, Razorback Express — now available on 7″ vinyl through Patac Records!
As everyone knows, almost all of the awesome metal tours and festivals take place over in Europe. They’ve got Wacken Open Air in Germany, Download Festival at Donnington Park in England, Metalcamp in Slovenia, and what seems like millions of others — all with the most incredible lineups imaginable. Meanwhile, the rest of us are pretty much just forced to contend with tours that have a far-too-high ratio of shitty-to-good, like Ozzfest or the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival.
Well, with a few exceptions, and probably the biggest exception each year is the Maryland Deathfest. This weekend-long metal party is held annually in the city of Baltimore, which as everyone knows was named for the seminal 1970s metal band Sir Lord Baltimore.
This year, the Deathfest is taking place between the 24th-27th of May, and tickets are available for three out of those four days. As we’ve recently discussed, Morgion had to pull out of their scheduled performance, but there is still a fuckton and a half of awesomeness in the lineup.
**Update (3 May 2012) – the official time-slot schedule has been released; details below**